Remember those New Year Resolutions you made for your business? What?!? You forgot already? Come now, it's time to turn those resolutions into business goals. This is how you actually get things accomplished.
Here is the SMART method of goal setting. It's quite simple.
Specific - Make your goals specific. Vague resolutions will get you nowhere. Make it well-defined and focused. Maybe throw in some numbers and percentages. Write down exactly what you want to achieve.
Measurable - This goes hand in hand with being specific. You need to word your goal with a measurable outcome. Isn't there a scoreboard in sports? You need to see that you are achieving your goal.
Attainable (Action-oriented) - I've seen this both ways. Obviously, making goals that cannot be reached will be useless. Not to burst your bubble, but you probably won't become a billionaire making soap or candles in one year. Goals should be attainable. Dreams can be anything. I like the action-oriented idea as well. What actions will you use to be successful?
Relevant - Make goals relevant to your situation. I have no interest in selling wholesale, so there is no point for me to include anything involving wholesale in my goals. My goals will also be different in a poor economy as opposed to a booming one. Think about your business' current situation and what is relevant now.
Time-oriented - Probably the most important part of SMART goal setting. You need to set a deadline or timeline for your goals to be accomplished. Don't you achieve more when you have a deadline?
Here's a resolution: Get more customers. Here is a SMART goal for that resolution. I will obtain 3 new customers per week during the first quarter of 2010 by networking and marketing at local events.
Here's another: Get organized SMART goal: I will establish an organizational system for paperwork by Jan. 15th. Each week, I will follow a written schedule for filing, paying bills, and completing all paperwork. Eg. Monday - Pay Bills, Tuesday - File, etc.
See how the vague goals are more specific, relevant, attainable, measurable, and time-oriented? Now turn your resolutions into SMART goals. Be sure to right them down and begin your statements with "I will". This is the first step to success.